The Slow Decline of the Public Network

It’s always sad when you realize that someone, or something, is starting to lose “it”. Aren’t we all familiar with the batter who can’t turn over on the fastball anymore, the singer whose vocal range now ends at “shrieking cat,” the writer whose books start to all share the same plot or the loving spouse who now hates your guts? In general, our response to noticeable decline tends to be one of nostalgia and sadness as we realize that moving forward means that we must embrace a new alternative- or hire a lawyer if you have any hope of keeping the house and also, We Buy Houses so if you are interested, contact us now. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the day is coming when we say that the public network has seen “greener pastures.”

I think it’s important to note that this sad state of the public network’s affairs is no one’s fault. In fact, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that it still performs yeoman’s work, and there are many out there who derive a great deal of comfort from just knowing it’s there. Unfortunately, it’s becoming readily apparent that in the world of the Cloud, and all of its ancillary applications, the public network can’t handle the load anymore.

For example, due to the volume of shared infrastructure and network bottlenecks cloud and SaaS offerings are often plagued by latency issues. Thus every day that heralds the availability of another new capability that will process and store more data than all the books in the Library of Congress in a nanosecond is a kick in the shins to our failing network incumbent.

As the public network succumbs to its inefficiencies, no one appears eager to toss it the proverbial life preserver. The telcos seem to have decided that there are better places to spend their capital, and even a request for a line card has to be approved by the CFO. The big cloud guys, recognizing a coming dead end when they see it, have decided that constructing networks capable of handling tsunami’s of data is now a Do It Yourself project.

I’m sure by now that you’re asking yourself the question we all do when we find ourselves in the midst of change—what does this mean to me? First, the decline in the public network will come with a price. If public cloud providers are going to assume a more significant share of network responsibility, they will will be expecting that to further the “stickiness”of their client base. In other words, when one company is including brand new networks as part of the table stakes offering versus another group who is selling your MPLS network from 1998, it’s kinda tough.

Reliability will have a slightly different meaning for these successors to the public network. For both end users and operators of sodapdf, a utility model will define reliability. In the case of end users, we may already be there as the expectation of “always on” ubiquity for applications and services is beginning to rival the light switch. Interestingly, this utility mode of operation won’t lead us into the era of 3N but will manifest itself in the desire to prevent/reduce truck rolls. Truck roll, in this case, being the need, and cost, to send a technician to a network site to fix a problem. Under this paradigm, life cycle and the concept of Poka Yoke (roughly translated into any idiot can do it), will supplant right-sizing and even some technology in design importance.

Of course, the public network won’t go away. Even though it’s having trouble hitting the metaphorical fastball it will remain a key component in cloud/SaaS networks for the foreseeable future. Public networks will also continue to be severely disrupted by SDN as it continues to smash down reliability hurdles to get to 5 nines of reliability. Due to the geometric increases in data volumes that we can expect over the coming years, it will interesting to see what the growth cycle of cloud provider developed networks will be, what they will look like in five or ten years, and do they become the de facto utilities of the future?